Best Chinese Android phones

In 2015, 7 of the top 10 smartphone manufacturers in the world were Chinese OEMs, and apart from their popularity in China, companies like Lenovo, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Huawei, and others have been making in-roads into competitive markets like the US, Europe, and India. We’ve covered these companies and their popular offerings extensively here at Android Authority, and you can check them out in the links below.

However, China is home to a slew of other great smartphone manufacturers as well, that, while quite popular in their home market, aren’t as well-known internationally. That’s certainly not because of the lack of a good product, with devices that offer everything you’d expect from a flagship smartphone, including solid specifications and features, all at a very affordable price point. The phones listed above definitely qualify as some of the best Chinese Android smartphones, but for this roundup, we attempt to showcase some of these lesser-known OEMs and their devices. Let’s take a look!

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Meizu Pro 6

Meizu Pro 6

Meizu may not be as well-known as some of its Chinese counterparts, but the company offers some fantastic smartphones, particularly in the ultra budget-friendly segment. That said, Meizu is making waves with their high-end offerings as well, and only a few months after the release of the Pro 5, comes the company’s latest flagship smartphone, the Meizu Pro 6. The Pro 6 retains the beautiful full metal unibody construction of its predecessor.

It comes with some useful features and hardware, including its own take on Apple’s 3D Touch and Huawei’s Force Touch, called 3D Press, which uses additional force to pull up previews, extra menus, and other hotkey functions. It also comes with a Cirrus Logic CS43L36 audio chip for Hi-Fi audio. The Pro 6 is also the first smartphone to be powered by the deca-core MediaTek Helio X25 processor, and backing it is the Mali-T880MP4 GPU and 4 GB of RAM. Other high-end features include a fingerprint scanner up front, a USB Type-C port (USB 3.1) and mCharge 3.0 fast charging capabilities, and a 21 MP rear camera.

The Meizu Pro 6 is the complete package, with specifications and features to give any current generation flagship a run for its money, but where it has its high-end competition beat is when it comes to price, with the 32 GB model retailing for ¥2,499 (~$390) and the 64 GB variant priced at ¥2,799 (~$430). Granted, the price will be slightly higher if you’re looking to import the device, but it’ll still be much cheaper the most of its competitors. You can find out more about the Meizu Pro 6 here.


  • 5.2-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 423 ppi
  • 2.5 GHz deca-core Helio X25 processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32/64 GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 21 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,560 mAh battery
  • Flyme OS 5.6 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 147.7 x 70.8 x 7.3 mm, 160 grams

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Nubia Z9

ZTE Nubia Z9-26

Nubia is a subsidiary of ZTE, and has produced a series of fantastic mid-range to high-end smartphones that are definitely worth checking out. The latest flagship offering from the company is the Nubia Z9, which comes with a solid design and build quality. It’s comprised of a metal and glass unibody construction and sports other top of the line specifications and features that make it a deserving competitor to its high-end brethren.

There are actually three variants of the Z9 available. While all three are powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, the Classic version comes with 3 GB of RAM, while the Elite and Exclusive iterations feature 4 GB of RAM. The Exclusive edition also comes with a fingerprint scanner, which isn’t available with the other two options. One of the standout features of this device is the display, which comes with a slightly raised 2.5D glass panel on top with curves along the edges that allows for a bezel-less look and feel which is sure to turn heads. Of course, the Full HD display also provides a fantastic viewing experience, with bright, vivid colors, high brightness, and good viewing angles.

The Nubia Z9 is a powerful device with a beautiful design, great display, solid battery life, and other specifications and features that make it among the best smartphones of 2015. On the pricing front, the Z9 is priced quite similarly to its flagship competition, and is one of the more expensive devices on this list, but is certainly worth every penny.


  • 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 423 ppi
  • 2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • 3 GB of RAM (Classic edition), 4 GB of RAM (Elite and Exclusive editions)
  • 32 GB (Classic edition), 64 GB (Elite and Exclusive editions) of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 16 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,900 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 147.4 x 68.3 x 8.9 mm, 192 grams

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Elephone P9000

elephone p9000-1

Elephone is another Chinese device manufacturer that is gaining a reputation for offering solid, mid-range to high-end smartphones at a fraction of the price when compared to its competitors. The latest smartphone from the company, the P9000, is one such device that strikes the perfect balance between specifications and price, and is definitely a phone worth keeping in mind.

The Elephone P9000 features a design that goes far beyond what its price point would suggest, with its metal frame and nearly bezel-less front. The black version of the device comes with a sand paper-like finish on the back that helps with the grip and handling experience, but can take some getting used to. Continuing with the trend of boasting features beyond its price point, the P9000 is powered by the octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor, backed by the Mali-T860 GPU and 4 GB of RAM. There is also a fingerprint scanner on the back, and a useful addition is an extra button on the side that apart from acting as a way to silence the device easily, works as a hotkey to quickly launch a preset application.

When considering all that the Elephone P9000 has to offer, what proves to be most impressive is the fact that this phone is currently priced at just $245, which is significantly cheaper than any smartphone that the Elephone P9000 may call its competition. If network compatibility and other considerations aren’t negative factors, the P9000 is definitely a device worth considering.


  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • 2 GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

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Lenovo Vibe P1 Turbo


Lenovo has been making a name for itself with some fantastic mid-range offerings, one of which is the Vibe P1 Turbo. The Vibe P1 Turbo isn’t actually all that different from the Vibe P1, with the Turbo moniker indicating just an additional gig of RAM. All other specifications and features remain the same, and we can only assume Lenovo released two variants to compensate for different markets.

Speaking of specifications, the Vibe P1 Turbo comes with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which is backed by the Adreno 405 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. The device comes with a fingerprint sensor up front, which is works quite well, but may not be as fast as some other scanners out there. The Vibe P1 Turbo is a mid-range smartphone through and through, but its biggest selling point is its huge 5,000 mAh battery which allows for at least 2 days of battery life comfortably.

The Lenovo Vibe P1 Turbo is relatively affordable as well, currently priced at $357. So if you are looking for a solid mid-range smartphone with a beautiful design, decent specifications, and great battery life, the Vibe P1 Turbo could be the device for you.


  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • 1.5 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor
  • 3 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB internal storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 5,000 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 152.9 x 75.6 x 9.9 mm, 189 grams

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ZUK is a Hong Kong-based smartphone manufacturer that is backed by Lenovo, and the companies first effort, the ZUK Z1, is a solid mid-range smartphone that runs Cyanogen. Under the hood, the ZUK Z1 comes with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, backed by the Adreno 330 GPU and 3 GB of RAM, which continues to be a reliable processing package, and using it is a smart move on the part of ZUK.

The ZUK Z1 doesn’t pack a whole lot in terms of extras, but does come with a fingerprint scanner up front, which is as fast as accurate as expected. As is the case with other mid-range smartphones from Lenovo, including the Vibe P1 Turbo above, the big selling point of this device is the large 4,100 mAh battery that it packs, that allows for 2 days of battery life quite comfortably with average use. Of course, its other attractive feature is its software package, with the phone running Cyanogen OS 12.1, based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. The highly-customizable software package is one of the most liked around, and perfectly complements the older processor to allow for a smooth and snappy experience.

The Lenovo ZUK Z1 is currently priced at $300, so if you are looking for a reliable smartphone with decent specifications, great software experience, and fantastic battery life, the ZUK Z1 is a good choice.


  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,100 mAh battery
  • Cyanogen OS 12.1 based on Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 155.7 x 77.3 x 8.9 mm, 175 grams

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honor 7


Huawei has a slew of mid-range and high-end smartphones, and the company continues to expand their portfolio with new devices ever so often. One such series is the honor line, which falls under the “premium but affordable” segment, with one of the best options from the series being the honor 7.

The honor 7 was the first smartphone of the series that made the move to a full metal unibody construction, and the backing comes with a ceramic-like finish that counters the slipperiness that is usually associated with metal phones. Under the hood, the honor 7 packs an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 935 processor, clocked at 2.2 GHz, and backed by the Mali-T628 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. And with the software optimized for their in-house processing package, you get a smooth and snappy experience overall. There aren’t a lot of extras in terms of hardware, but there is a fingerprint scanner on the back that works very well.

The honor 7 is another solid offering that gets a lot right with its beautiful display, impressive battery life, fantastic fingerprint scanner, good camera, and useful additions like the swipe gestures and the SmartKey button. The device is currently available for around $400.


  • 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 424 ppi
  • 2.2 GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 935 processor
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 16/64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 20 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,100 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 143.2 x 71.9 x 8.5 mm, 157 grams

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So, there you have it for this roundup of some of the best Chinese Android smartphones! Of course, there are numerous other Chinese OEMs with great devices out there, and we will be sure to keep this list updated. One thing worth keeping in mind is that if you do consider picking up any of these smartphones, don’t forget to first check about network compatibility, as you may have trouble getting access to 4G LTE networks with these devices depending on your home market. If that isn’t an issue, all of the smartphones listed above are fantastic options from OEMs that have been flying under the radar, and are definitely good choices to make.

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By | 2016-05-08T23:00:07+00:00 May 8th, 2016|Android Related, Just the Tablets|0 Comments

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